Friday, May 25, 2012

So you don’t like the Law

One of the things that struck me at a recent government hearing I was at is how little people know about how to influence change.  They don’t like what is allowed under the law but they also don’t know how to change the law.

The hearing I attended was for a project for the ministry where I work.  The law allows non-profit organizations, any non-profit organization to receive more favorable interest rates on financing projects through the use of tax-exempt bonds.  Granted this is a complicate process but for numerous reasons many folks were opposed to a religious non-profit group getting this kind of financing.  If I disagreed I’d go after the law however many of these folks chose to go after the organization.

One of the folks who presented against us summed it up well.  She said, “I know this is legal but I’m asking you to do the right thing and not approve the request.”  That is a contradiction in terms.  If it is legal than the right thing for elected and appointed government officials to do is to support and uphold that law, which all but one of the officials did.  Otherwise, you have the right and privilege in our country to get those laws changed.

If you don’t like the speed limits on the interstates do you attack the driver who is driving the speed limit or do you try to get the speed limit changed?  You can go after the driver but that won’t change the law.  Even after the attorney for the city presented this was a legal process approved and supported by the US Supreme Court, many who spoke decided to go after the organization as opposed to the law.

There are many laws on the books that I don’t like or agree with but I’m not going after those who are playing by the rules.  If I wanted to bring about change, I’d lobby those who make the laws to change the laws.  A concept that appears to be lost on many.